Record number of children and young people referrals to emergency mental health services

Statement / comment
17 August 2022

NHS Digital released its Mental Health Services Monthly Statistics for May 2022, which highlights a record number of children and young people being referred to emergency mental health services.

Dr Elaine Lockhart, Chair of the Royal College of Psychiatrists' Faculty of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, said:

“The record numbers of young people seeking help for mental health emergencies shows the devastating impact that the pandemic has had on their mental health, and the overwhelming pressure on already stretched services.

“The Government must urgently take steps to ensure there is an adequate workforce to meet the rising demand for mental health support. Further action to expand early intervention services such as the creation of youth hubs and strengthened mental health support in schools would help ensure more young people can access help before becoming seriously unwell. Specialist mental health services need ongoing investment to recruit and train clinicians. Without this many more young people could end up in crisis.”